Two Los Angeles Police Department officers are under investigation after four women accused them of rape, according to area media.
The two officers, Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols, told reporters that they’ve only just learned about the investigation, but KTLA-TV noted on Friday that the probe has been ongoing for more than a year. Both men have been on the force for over a decade.
The officers are accused of threatening women with jail time if they did not perform various actions, including sex acts. The women were allegedly either working for the officers as confidential informants or were arrested by the officers on criminal charges.
The investigation was revealed by The Los Angeles Times on Thursday after reporters reviewed a search warrant related to the probe. The warrant specifically seeks sexually explicit text messages one of the victims claims she exchanged with one of the officers.
Another of the victims filed a lawsuit over the allegations on Thursday, leading investigators to swoop in and seize as much evidence as possible before either man had a chance to destroy it.
This video is from KTLA-TV, aired Friday, January 4, 2013.
Stephen C. Webster
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